Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6813/Nimrod

Posted by neildubya on August 22nd, 2008


I somehow managed to finish this, despite the half dozen or so clues that I filled in without really knowing why. Offers of enlightenment gratefully received.

1/4 IN POLE POSITION – I knew Robert Kubica from somewhere, I just couldn’t remember where but unfortunately the clue’s pretty much unsolvable without that information so I had to Google. You either know that he’s a Polish Formula 1 driver, or you don’t.
10 BE(ASTI)E – “worker” is almost always ANT. Or BEE. HAND occasionally. ASTI is always my first choice for wine though (in crosswords I mean. I wouldn’t touch the stuff in real life)(.
11 E,LAST IN – unlike 1/4 this sporting clue does at least have a separate definition so you could possibly solve this if you had some checking letters and didn’t know that Monty Panesar is an England bowler and hence likely to be “last in” (to bat).
12 BIOLOGICAL CLOCK – cryptic definition.
24 NAUTILI – sounds like “naughty lie”.
25 LE(THE)AN – a reference to the mythological river Lethe in Hades, whose water caused forgetfulness of the past in those who drank it.
26/27 IDENTITY CRISIS – can’t work this one out: “Part of personality is not just once being restricted by signs of criminal record – in this?”. “Is not just once” could be -ISIS but that’s all I can see.
1 I,M(BIB)ER – I hesitated over this one as I didn’t know that a BIB is a type of Arctic fish.
2 PE(A SOUP)ER – I don’t understand how “very-well read” can be A SOUP.
8 NON-SKID – I sort of get this: “Dinky” is Double-Income-No-Kids and NO KID does appear in NON-SKID leaving NS to be accounted for somehow.
16 TURN(O,V)ERS – and the roll-call of befuddlement on my part continues: are “longer press articles” TURNERS? What does “one Tate display” mean. Have I even got this one right?
17 hidden in “theSE CONDItions” – finally, a clue I completely understand.
22 MO,USE – the 22 in this case is Burns I think.
22 ODIST – the underword is DIS but that’s all I can tell you, apart from the definition. Full clue: “Poet to look over shoulder on way out of the underword”.
23 ESTER – Occidental is “wESTERn”

17 Responses to “Independent 6813/Nimrod”

  1. Geoff Moss says:

    26/27a ID ENTITY (two ‘part of personality’) IS IS (two ‘is) containing C R (signs of Criminal Record)

  2. Geoff Moss says:

    16d The definition is ‘longer press articles’. A turnover is ‘a newspaper article begun on the front page and continued overleaf’.

    The wordplay is O V (nothing against) in TURNERS (artist’s display in the Tate Gallery).

  3. Geoff Moss says:

    8d could be NON-KID (Dinky, non- being ‘absence of’) containing (pregnant with) S (son)

  4. Geoff Moss says:

    2d A SO (very) UP (well-read) in PEER (Lords member)

  5. C G Rishikesh says:

    Geoff, any success with ODIST?

    Poet to look over shoulder on way out of the underworld

    Is it OT (reversal of TO, ‘look over’ being the rev. ind.) going round DIS (‘shoulder’ prob. being the c/c signal)

    ‘on way out of’ remains unexplained.

  6. Geoff Moss says:

    Rishi – no, still working on it

  7. C G Rishikesh says:

    On further consideration, I think “shoulder on way out of” as a whole is intended to be the signal to take OT around DIS.

  8. nmsindy says:

    How I read O(DIS)T was – ‘way out of’ indicating containment and ‘over the shoulder’ turning upside down. Nimrodian.

  9. Geoff Moss says:


    There is no ‘the’ between ‘over’ and ‘shoulder’ and you haven’t accounted for ‘look’. Nit-picking I know but I am not convinced that the wordplay actually gives the answer directly.

  10. Geoff Moss says:

    22d Let’s look at this from another angle.

    Orpheus was not allowed to look back at his wife Euridice on their way out of the underworld otherwise she would die forever, but he did look back over his shoulder.

    Orpheus was venerated as a poet, singer and musician and was called by Pindar ‘the father of songs’

    An ‘ode’ is defined as ‘a poem intended to be sung’, so as Orpheus sang the poems he wrote he was an ‘odist’.

  11. nmsindy says:

    I’m just guessing really, Geoff, but I think it’s fair to say Nimrod has a slightly looser style than some other setters. But DIS is the underworld as we solvers know so only OT has to be accounted for.

  12. Geoff Moss says:

    I’m not disagreeing with you but, if we accept that ‘the underworld’ is DIS and that it has TO reversed about it, then the reversal indicator must be ‘look over shoulder’ or ‘look over shoulder on’ and the containment indicator becomes ‘on way out of’ or ‘way out of’. None of these strikes me as being reasonable, even when given some poetic licence.

  13. Paul B says:

    ‘Out’ or ‘out of’ is a containerind oft used in The Guardian, especially by Shed if I remember rightly. And as Nimrod, while a serial abuser (bravo) of convention, is usually fair-ish with the cryptic grammar, I would say that TO ‘look back over shoulder’ works as a reversal where T and O are seen as a (very short) string of letters, thus warranting the plural usage.

    In this calculation, the ‘on way’ is obviously a bit of a liberty, but as you say that’s Nimrod: I think, as others do, that it’s TO < around DIS, written to provide a surface that make us think of Orpheus, while an odist, in the end, is simply a poet as defined.

  14. petero says:

    I only do the Independent occasionally, and so would not have known much about Nimrod’s style even if the on-line version had identified him (I take it he is a him). Like neildubya, I put in several answers without being really sure why. Sometimes (e.g. 2D), I failed to get the wordplay; sometimes (12A, 5D) I find the clues at best sloppy. (Yet evidently I was able to enter the answers with little doubt. Is this good enough? Discuss.) Then there is 26/27. For once I would side with the purists in saying that the clue just does not work. Geoff suggests that ‘id entity’ are two parts of personality. Entity? Or is the phrase meant to signify a singe part, a suggestion I would regard as equally spurious, but which would sidestep the problem of ordering two parts followed by two ises. And how does ‘being restricted by’ become an envelope with ‘cr’ on the inside?
    Just in case anyone is starting to think I am a closet Ximenean, I found little to complain about 22D. Probably this is because there is a reason for the strange wordplay: to give the clue a smooth surface (apart from the awkward ‘to’, at least).
    Question: I have taken the term ‘&lit’ to indicate a clue which, rather than splitting into two parts, definition and wordplay, is to be read as a whole in both ways. Then there are clues in which the wordplay amplifies the definition – or as in 26/27 bears the principal burden? This type is not so uncommon (e.g. Composer of large variations (5)). Such could well be taken under the umbrella of ‘&lit’, but I wondered if anyone had come up with a separate term?

  15. Geoff Moss says:


    The reason I split ‘identity’ is that Chambers defines ‘identity’ as ‘personality’ (i.e. the whole of it) whereas ‘id’ is defined as ‘one of the three parts of the personality’ therefore complying more exactly with the clue.

    ‘entity’ is defined as ‘the basic essential nature of something’ (or ‘the essence or real nature’ in Collins) which I interpreted as being part of one’s personality.

    If my interpretation is incorrect and the setter just intended to clue ‘identity’ then ‘part of’ is completely superfluous.

    With regard to the containment indicator ‘being restricted by’, if you have a pipe that is restricted by a blockage then the blockage is in the pipe.

  16. nmsindy says:

    Petero, yes, indeed it is a ‘him’ John Henderson.

  17. John H says:

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone. The breakdown for ID,ENTITY/CR/IS,IS is ID (part of one’s personality) + IS, IS (“is” not just once) restricting ENTITY (= being) + CR (first letters). Hope that helps.

    PS Bannsider, you B……!

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